Many people suffer from sciatica which results from a pressure or trauma to the sciatica nerve in the legs. Typically, sciatica is an indication of a medical problem and should be treated as a symptom. Sciatica is treated through physical rehabilitation and yoga.
The sciatica pain can result from a herniated disk causing a shift in muscle and bone alignment. Pain can also be the caused by the piriformis muscle or a narrowing of the spinal cord connection area to the sciatica nerve root. Less frequently, tumors and bone spurs in the area of the sciatica nerve may cause the discomfort.
Consult with a licensed physician or chiropractor to see if a yoga routine will likely alleviate the condition. Yoga is not always a cure but can be an effective way of reducing, and possibly eliminating, sciatica pain over the course of a consistent and routine practice. Be sure to search for a competent yoga instructor that is familiar with specific treatments of sciatica so they can present a guided routine that will effectively address one’s individual sciatica pain.
Ultimately, pain is a threshold that should not be challenged when working to improve a sciatica condition. Ensuring that one respects the limitations being set by painful responses in the body will prevent the condition from becoming exacerbated. This is not a time to tough-it-out. Instead, perform the positions and routines in a slow and even pace to ensure steady stretching and muscle attention. The rehabilitation of sciatica pain is a slow process, but commitment to a routine will produce long term results. An additional benefit to treating sciatica pain through yoga practice is that the entire body will also reap benefits that will manifest as increased energy levels, muscle strength and greater flexibility.
At the onset of sciatica pain, it is important to ice the affected area in order to reduce inflammation and the possibility of the condition worsening. Utilizing an ice pack at an interval of 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off for a series of three cycles should alleviate the swelling.
The piriformis muscle is closely associated with the root area of the sciatica nerve. Thus, it can be extremely beneficial to practice stretching this muscle for immediate pain relief. This can be done sitting or lying by resting the ankle area of one leg across the thigh area of the other and leaning forward gently. If lying down, pull the thigh of the straightened leg gently toward one’s torso.
Ensure Muscle Balance
It is possible for the muscles surrounding the pelvis to become unbalanced due to strain or injury. To check, recline horizontally with hands tucked equally behind both hips at approximately belt level. If one’s hands sense greater pressure on one side, then the muscles are unbalanced and exercises should be used to realign them.
A hesitation to move around as the result of sciatica pain is natural, but slow steady movement can actually loosen muscles and alleviate pain.